TheYachtMarket CEO and co-founder awarded MTA Personality of the Year

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The BMTA Personality of the Year is awarded to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the industry over the years. Richard, who is the vice chairman of British Marine’s Sailing Committee, is very passionate about the marine industry and dedicates his time encouraging more people onto the water.

He set up TheYachtMarket, with his co-founder Simon White, more than 15 years ago, with one core mission in mind - to offer the very best online experience when buying and selling a boat. It is this core mission that has driven TheYachtMarket to its preeminent position in the industry today, offering the most comprehensive and technologically advanced resource whether buying or selling, for all types of boats, from sailing dinghies and tenders to powerboats and commercial vessels.

Last year, Richard unveiled details of his pioneering project, Ocean Saviour. Being inspired by BBC’s Blue Planet II, Richard announced his plans to launch the worlds-first, self-powering 70m tri-deck clean-up vessel, which will be purposefully engineered to locate, retrieve and recycle plastic from the ocean.

Commenting on the launch of Ocean Saviour, Richard said: “Ocean Saviour is an initiative that I am extremely passionate about. Since the launch, we are now working on delivering phase two of the project and I look forward to working closely with our partners on its development.

“Our oceans are a vital resource and it is essential we all do what we can to preserve them for future generations. I’m especially pleased to work with such a talented group of individuals to help make this a reality.  It’s staggering to think that there is currently over five trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean which is having a detrimental impact on our ecosystem and the ocean’s biodiversity. It’s essential that we remove plastic before it breaks down into microplastics and, through Ocean Saviour, we aim to help eradicate the ocean of this problem.”

As well as initiatives like Ocean Saviour, Richard is involved in several community initiatives, including the organisation of the Community Cup, a challenge for young people who have faced tough personal challenges. The cup gives them the chance to experience the thrill of sailing and takes place annually in conjunction with the Southampton Boat Show.

TheYachtMarket also works closely with Wetwheels, a charity based in the south of the UK which provides opportunities and builds disabled people’s confidence by providing access to the sea in a fun, safe, stimulating and rewarding way using specially modified, fully accessible powerboats. In June, Richard, along with his co-founder Simon, will be abseiling a 170-metre landmark in Portsmouth, the Emirates Spinnaker Tower, to raise awareness and vital funds for this fantastic charity.

Richard added: “As a business, we are passionate about getting more people out on the water. Research conducted by Wetwheels tells us more than 80 per cent of its participants have never previously been on the sea and Wetwheels work hard to reassess the perceived barriers, teach new skills and prove that new-found independence can be discovered out on the water.”

Further commenting on his award win, Richard said: “This is a truly monumental moment; to be named BMTA Personality of the Year is the greatest honour of my career to date.

“It has been a fantastic 12 months; we celebrated 15 years of TheYachtMarket, have supported a number of incredible charities, helped organise local community initiatives and of course launched our biggest project to date, Ocean Saviour, which we are extremely proud of.

“It’s a privilege to receive this award and to be recognised for my contribution to the marine industry. For many of us, the sea is on our doorstep and we need to be doing more to encourage people out onto the water and to show how accessible it can be.”

Richard W. Roberts awarded the BTMTA Personality of the year.

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